LaCie Wireless Space review: LaCie Wireless Space

By default the device offers two share folders called MyShare and OpenShare. MyShare is password-protected and can only be accessed via the admin account; OpenShare can be accessed by anybody in the network. You can make more subfolders in these two share folders, but you can't make any additional share folders. Unlike with the Network Space 2, it seems you can't make additional user accounts with the Wireless Space, either.

The Wireless Space supports external hard drives formatted in either FAT32 or NTFS. Once plugged in, the content of the drive will be shared with public access under a share folder named after the name of the drive's volume. You can use the Drive button to change the settings of support for external hard dives, including the ability automatically back up their entire content onto the NAS' internal storage, or unmount it.

To enable support for Apple's Time Machine, you'll need to use the General Settings button and check the box that reads "Time Machine support." Now, any Macs connected to the same network as the Wireless Space will automatically see its share folders as a destination for the Time Machine backup.

The Wireless Space supports both PCs and Macs, and can be used with both without any software installed on the computer. It automatically appears in the Mac's Finder; in Windows, you can easily brows for its share folders via a network browser, such as Windows Explorer. You can also enable support for media streaming which will detect and broadcast digital content from its share folders to any UPnP- or DLNA-compliant playback devices and iTunes software.

The fanciest feature the server offers is that it supports PC-less downloading for torrents. Other than that, the server doesn't offer other popular features, such as remote access, Web site downloads, or support for IP cameras.

For PC users, the LaCie Wireless Space comes with LaCie Genie Time Line, which is a backup software application that's similar to Time Machine for Macs.

Performance
The Wireless Space performed comparatively well in our tests, though we wish it had done better.

In tests for a wireless router, it did well with the close range test, scoring 54.3Mpbs, about the average on our charts. At this speed, it can finish transmitting 500MB of data in about 75 seconds. The device, however, did much worse in the range test, where it was put 100 feet away from the client. Here it scored just 19.8Mps, the lowest score among 2.4Ghz routers. In the mixed-mode test, where it was set to work with both Wireless-N and legacy clients, it scored 48.6Mbps, which was, again, about average.

We noticed that the Wireless Space's signal, though it can reach relatively far (up to 250 feet), degraded significantly in terms of throughput. Ideally, you should only use the router with clients placed no farther than 75 feet from it. To make up for this, it offers excellent signal stability, passing our 48-hour stress test without disconnecting once.

As a NAS server, the Wireless Space was by far the fastest among NAS/router combo devices we've reviewed, scoring 140.6Mbps for writing and 164.7Mbps for reading. When compared with dedicated NAS servers, however, the Wireless Space's performance was still really far behind. The Asus TS Mini , for example, scored 467.1Mbps for writing and 690.3Mbps for reading, more than three times the speed of the Wireless Space.

Nonetheless we found that with its performance, the Wireless Space will handle most data-sharing jobs and media streaming in your home. And for its compact size, its performance met our expectations.

CNET Labs NAS performance scores via wired Gigabit Ethernet connection (in in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Asus TS Mini
690.3 
467.1 
HP MediaSmart Server LX195
393.7 
341.8 
WD My Book Live
529.9 
340.3 
HP MediaSmart Server EX495
380.4 
279.6 
LG N1T1
387.5 
243.8 
Vebatim MediaShare
435.1 
224.4 
LaCie Network Space 2
280.6 
146.8 
LaCie Wireless Space
164.7 
140.6 
My Book World Edition
206.6 
120.1 
QNAP TS109 Pro
152.4 
101.4 
Apple Time Capsule
114.2 
81.2 
Cisco Linksys E3000
32.2 
57.1 
ASUS RT-N16
48.8 
46 
Netgear WNDR3700
40 
17.8 

CNET Labs 2.4Ghz Wireless-N performance score (in Mpbs)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Mixed Mode  
Range  
Throughput  
Cisco Linksys E2000
71.3 
51.3 
74.2 
D-Link DIR-825
55.04 
40.4 
57.44 
Belkin N+ Wireless Router
36.16 
29.44 
55.44 
Netgear WNDR3700
41.8 
38.6 
54.8 
Lacie Wireless Space
48.6 
19.8 
53.4 
Cisco Linksys E3000
35.3 
32.8 
43.5 
Apple Airport Extreme Base Station
35.2 
21.12 
40.6 
Linksys WRT610n
27.04 
28.8 
35.76 
Apple Time Capsule
20 
20.8 
32.2 

Service and support
Like with the Network Space 2, LaCie backs the Wireless Space with a two-year warranty, which is longer than what most other NAS servers offer. The warranty covers parts and labor. Telephone support is offered Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT. At LaCie's Web site, you can download software that accompanies the device, its GPL source code, as well as have access it its documentation, knowledge base, FAQs, and other ways to contact Lacie.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Total Storage Capacity 2 TB
  • Type standard
  • Data Link Protocol Ethernet
  • Compatibility Mac
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.